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Principal Optical Engineer

Requisition ID: R10065714

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: Rolling Meadows, IL, USA
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: Secret
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: Yes-May consider hybrid teleworking for this position
  • Shift IconShift: 1st Shift (United States of America)
  • Travel IconTravel Required: Yes, 10% of the Time
  • Positions IconPositions Available: 2

At Northrop Grumman, our employees have incredible opportunities to work on revolutionary systems that impact people's lives around the world today, and for generations to come. Our pioneering and inventive spirit has enabled us to be at the forefront of many technological advancements in our nation's history - from the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean, to stealth bombers, to landing on the moon. We look for people who have bold new ideas, courage and a pioneering spirit to join forces to invent the future, and have fun along the way. Our culture thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work — and we have an insatiable drive to do what others think is impossible. Our employees are not only part of history, they're making history.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is offering a challenging and rewarding career as an Optical Engineer/Lens Designer within the Mission Systems Sector located at our Rolling Meadows, IL facility.

This position supports the design, development, build, and test validation of ruggedized optical products for military applications. The candidate will work within the Hardware Engineering organization. It is a high performing organization that values its employees and has a strong sense of purpose tied to the vision of Northrop Grumman: To be the most trusted provider of systems and technologies that ensure the security and the freedom of our nation and its allies. The candidate will be able to grow personally and professionally in an ethical and inclusive environment, while being an important part of a great team.

The engineer will be responsible for solving challenging problems through the development and application of optical technologies including passive and active infrared imaging, laser illumination and marking/identification, fiber optic systems, and meta-optics.  The engineer must have demonstrated expertise in optical design along with optical simulation analysis or opto-mechanical design and analysis. The optical engineer must have proficiency in one of the optical design/analysis tools. The engineer will serve on cross-functional teams, and interface frequently with related disciplines, including mechanical engineers and customers/stakeholders. Strong communication skills are required for success in all phases of the role.

The engineer will also contribute to overall knowledge base and skill level of the organization via coaching, knowledge transfer, and process improvement activities.

Basic Qualifications:

- Bachelor of Science degree in Optical Engineering, Optical Sciences, Opto-Mechanical Engineering, or related Engineering field with a concentration in Optics.

- Minimum of Bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of experience, or Master’s degree and 3+ years of experience, or Doctorate and 0+ years of experience.

- Demonstrated expertise in at least one of the following subjects: optical design, optical analysis, or opto-mechanical design and analysis.

- Proficiency in one of the optical design/analysis tools such as Zemax (preferred), Code V, OSLO, Trace Pro, FRED or equivalent.

- Demonstrated application of innovative solutions to complex problems.

- Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.

- U. S. citizen with the ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. Government security clearance.

Preferred Qualifications:

- Master’s or Doctorate degree in Optical Engineering, Optical Sciences, Opto-Mechanical Engineering, or related Engineering field with a concentration in Optics .

- Expertise in optical design of multi-element imaging systems.

- Familiarity with MWIR/LWIR optical materials.

- Expertise in the optical design/analysis tool, Zemax.

- Familiarity with opto-mechanical engineering.

- Experience presenting at design reviews and customer/stakeholder briefings.

- Experience reviewing technical work products of peers.

- Leadership in process improvement or knowledge transfer (i.e. publication) activities.

- Experience contributing to development and mentoring of junior engineers.

- Active U.S. Government security clearance.


Salary Range: $109,900 USD - $164,900 USD

Employees may be eligible for a discretionary bonus in addition to base pay. Annual bonuses are designed to reward individual contributions as well as allow employees to share in company results. Employees in Vice President or Director positions may be eligible for Long Term Incentives. In addition, Northrop Grumman provides a variety of benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, Company paid holidays and paid time off (PTO) for vacation and/or personal business.

The health and safety of our employees and their families is a top priority. The company encourages employees to remain up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. U.S. Northrop Grumman employees may be required, in the future, to be vaccinated or have an approved disability/medical or religious accommodation, pursuant to future court decisions and/or government action on the currently stayed federal contractor vaccine mandate under Executive Order 14042 https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/contractors/.

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit http://www.northropgrumman.com/EEO. U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.



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What's great about
Northrop Grumman

  1. Be part of a culture that thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work.
  2. Use your skills to build and deliver innovative tech solutions that protect the world and shape a better future.
  3. Enjoy benefits like work-life balance, education assistance and paid time off.


Did you know?

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. Launched in December 2021, the telescope incorporates innovative design, advanced technology, and groundbreaking engineering, and will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.